AMD Ryzen 5 - 6-Core CPUs Arrive For Under $220

After weeks of leaks the AMD Ryzen 5 series of processors has finally been launched! With the launch of the AMD Ryzen 5 processors, AMD is attacking the mainstream market at the $169 to $249 price points where most gamers buy processors. AMD believes that Ryzen 5 4-core and 6-core processors will give users a well-rounded feature-rich platform that is competitive with what Intel has on the market. AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor The AMD Ryzen R5 is aimed at the sub-$250 CPU market and feature either 4 or 6-core processor designs with SMT.  The new AMD Ryzen 5 series consists of four processors at launch; the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X, 1600, 1500X and 1400. The flagship 6-core processor is the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X (6-cores and 12-threads at a 3.6GHz base/4.0GHz Boost clock) and  the flagship 4-core processor is the Ryzen 5 1500X (4-core, 8-thread at a 3.5GHz base/3.7GHz boost). AMD sees the Ryzen 5 series being very disruptive at this price point as the Ryzen 5 1600X would be lined up across the Intel Core i5-7600K. AMD is targeting the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X towards PC gaming enthusiasts and those just happen to be the two models that they send us to benchmark for this launch day article. AMD Ryzen 5 Processor Pricing AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Specs AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Specs Here is a look at the current AMD Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 series that are all available on the market toady.
PRODUCT LINE MODEL CORES THREADS BASE CLOCK (GHZ) BOOST CLOCK (GHZ) INCLUDED COOLER TDP (WATTS) Price
RYZEN 7 1800X 8 16 3.6 4.0 N/A 95 $495
RYZEN 7 1700X 8 16 3.4 3.8 N/A 95 $389
RYZEN 7 1700 8 16 3.0 3.7 Wraith Spire 65 $320
RYZEN 5 1600X 6 12 3.6 4.0 Wraith ​​Spire 95 $249
RYZEN 5 1600 6 12 3.2 3.6 Wraith ​​Spire 95 $219
RYZEN 5 1500X 4 8 3.5 3.7 Wraith Spire 65 $189
RYZEN 5 1400 4 8 3.2 3.4 Wraith Stealth 65 $169
Later this year you'll have the AMD Ryzen 3 series that is coming coming, but that is aimed at lower-end of the market with sub-$150 processors that won't be aimed at mainstream or enthusiast gamers. Let's take a look at the test system and then move onto the benchmarks!

Our CPU Test Systems

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We tested on five different desktop platforms (Intel Z77, Intel Z97, Intel Z270, Intel X99, AMD A4 and AMD AM3+) in this article, so we'll just quickly touch on each as all shared common parts (CPU Cooler, Video Card, SSD, Power Supply) and only differed in the board, processor, memory kit and memory timings. AMD Ryzen Test System AMD Ryzen 5 1500X HWiNFO The AMD AM4 platform that we used to test the Ryzen 7 series processors was running the MSI X370 XPower Gaming Titanium Motherboard with UEFI 1.44 that came out on 4/05/2017. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 2933MHz with 14-14-14-45 1T memory timings as we wanted to test with one of the most popular clock frequencies sold today. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card with GeForce 376.33 WHQL drivers for all of the systems. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply and a Corsair Force MP500 480GB PCIe SSD. A Corsair Hydro Series H110 water cooler for this review. Core i7-7700K Test System Picture The Intel Z270 platform that we used to test the Intel 1151 processors was running the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 with UEFI F5e that came out on 12/28/2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings as we wanted to test with one of the most popular clock frequencies sold today. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card with GeForce 376.33 WHQL drivers for all of the systems. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply, Corsair Hydro Series H105 water cooler and Crucial MX300 1050GB SSDs on all of the desktop systems.
Intel LGA1151 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-7700K

Motherboard

Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 5 Click Here

Memory

16GB Vengeance 3000MHz DDR4 Click Here

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 FE Click Here

Hard Drive

Crucial MX300 1050GB Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H105 Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K70 RGB Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M65 Pro Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Monitor

ASUS VE278Q 27" Click Here

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit Click Here
Intel Z97 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 2801 that came out on 11/15/2015. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 11-11-11-28 1T memory timings. Intel Z77 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1155 processors was running the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H (rev 1.0) motherboard with BIOS F16h that came out on 07/11/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2133 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Intel X99 Platform: The Intel X99 platform we picked to use for the LGA2011-v3 processors was the ASUS X99-E-10G WS board with BIOS 0403 and that is the initial release UEFI as no newer version has come out since the introduction of that board in 2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings. AMD AM3+  Platform: The AMD AM3+ platform that we used to test the AM3+ processors featured the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer  motherboard with BIOS 1.60 that came out on 01/14/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Laptops:  Just for fun we also included Dell XPS 13 9350 and Dell Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop results! These are retail Dell laptops with clean installs of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 installed for comparison to the desktop platforms. Let's take a look at overclocking and move onto the benchmarks!

Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 SP3 Memory Bandwidth: link

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 is a utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. This test has been popular for CPU and memory benchmarks for well over a decade and it is one of the easiest benchmarks out there to run.

AIDA64 5.80 Memory & Cache Benchmark: link

AIDA64 is an industry-leading system information tool, loved by PC enthusiasts around the world, which not only provides extremely detailed information about both hardware and installed software, but also helps users diagnose issues and offers benchmarks to measure the performance of the computer. Memory Bandwidth Results Summary: Memory performance on Ryzen 5 is very similar to that of Ryzen 7 processors, so nothing new or shocking to note here!

Real World Benchmarks

Dolphin 5.0 x64 Emulator Benchmark: link

The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release happened in 2016 and thanks to a major cleaning up of the codebase Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. Dolphin is considered by many to be the best Nintendo Wii emulator for PC you can find. It also works for Gamecube. We are running the official Dolphin 5.0 benchmark as it offers closer mapping to real world Dolphin performance as the previous version was extremely floating point heavy. We feel this is a pretty good general CPU benchmark for real world performance as emulation workloads are something that most gamers will run at one point or another.  We benchmark the standard Wii homebrew application and run it with the speed limit set to 'unlimited' and the External Frame Buffer set to 'real' in case you wanted to run this on your personal system.

Agisoft Photoscan 1.2.6 x64 - 2D to 3D Image Manipulation Benchmark: link

Agisoft PhotoScan is a stand-alone software product that performs photogrammetric processing of 2D digital images and generates 3D spatial data to be used in GIS applications, cultural heritage documentation, and visual effects production as well as for indirect measurements of objects of various scales. We us the 50 images from the 'Building' sample data download page for our benchmark. We take the total time it takes to complete four steps: Align Photos, Build Dense Cloud, Build Model, Build Texture with all the default settings for each.

KeyShot 6.3 - 3D Rendering and Animation: link

KeyShot 3D rendering and animation software is one of the fastest, easiest way to create amazing, photographic visuals of your 3D data. We installed KeyShot 6.3 to do some benchmarking and real-world stress testing using the camera_benchmark.bip scene that is included with the application. This benchmark tests a 800x554 pixel image with a continuous sample rate and shows the Frames Per Second (FPS) that the scene is being rendered from. This scene has nearly 42,000 triangles and does a good job at using all available cores to render the scene.

Blender 2.78a Open Source 3D Creation Benchmark: link

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. We use the BMW CPU Benchmark (CCO, 3MB) created by Mike Pan for our testing. Real World Benchmark Results Summary: When it comes to our 'real world' benchmark tests we found the AMD Ryzen 7 1600X 6-core processor does really well in applications that use more than 4-cores as you can see in most of the charts. The quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 1500X  performs okay for a quad-core processor, but you can see in benefits from having more than four cores is clear in the multi-threaded tests. Our Dolphin emulation benchmark doesn't use more than 4-cores, so you can see how clock speed and CPU architecture plays more of a roll in that benchmark. AMD also informed us just yesterday that Dolphin uses an Intel compiler, so they clearly don't like the fact that we are using it as it hasn't been 'tuned' or optimized for AMD processors. We still kept it up as it shows real world performance as not all applications are going to be AMD optimized when roughly 90% of the desktop market is running Intel.

Media Encoding & Encryption Benchmarks

HandBrake v1.0.1 - link

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded. We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. For our benchmark scenario we used a standard 2D 4K (3840x2160) 60 FPS clip in the MP4 format and used Handbrake version 1.0.1 to do two things. We used the new Fast 1080p30 preset to shrink that down to a 1920 x 1080 video clip to reduce the file size. This is something people often do to save space to put movies onto mobile devices. We also ran the workload using the normal preset as it puts the CPU at a higher load than the Fast 1080p30 preset.

X264 HD Encoding - link

the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test.   Media Encoding Benchmark Results Summary: The AMD Ryzen 5 1600X is a beast as it has better second pass performance than the Intel Core i7-7700K processor overclocked up to 5.1 GHz in the x264 benchmark and is pretty close to a stock 7700k in Handbrake!

VeraCrypt 1.19 - link

VeraCrypt is an open-source disk encryption software brought to you by IDRIX and is a fork based on the discontinued TrueCrypt 7.1a utility. The developers claim that weaknesses found in TrueCrypt have been resolved with the VeraCrypt project. This is a popular utility used by people that don't want to use Microsoft's built-in encyption tool for Windows 10 called Bitlocker. Encryption Benchmark Results Summary: If encryption is something you do, you'll find having more cores and threads to be very beneficial as you can see from the results above. The AMD Ryzen 5 1600X has a higher score than we expected, but our test results were strange. We ended up averaging 15 runs on the Ryzen 5 series processors as the scores varied drastically between runs as we were seeing between 4.3 to 7.1 GB/s on the runs we did. We asked AMD about the strange results and they said it was due to the fact that we were running in Windows balanced mode. Ryzen 5 1600X Veracrypt 1.19 Runs
Run 1 - 6.1 GB/s
Run 2 - 4.5 GB/s
Run 3 - 6.7 GB/s
Run 4 - 7.0 GB/s
Run 5 - 6.0 GB/s
Run 6 - 7.3 GB/s
Run 7 - 6.0 GB/s
Run 8 - 5.7 GB/s
Run 9 - 7.1 GB/s
Run 10 - 4.3 GB/s
Run 11 - 6.2 GB/s
Run 12 - 6.3 GB/s
Run 13 - 6.2 GB/s
Run 14 - 6.2 GB/s
Run 15 - 6.1 GB/s
Let's look at web browsing performance on Ryzen 5!

Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks

Mozilla Kraken 1.1: link

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. Kraken uses a test harness based on the SunSpider benchmark. Results are reported in milliseconds (lower is better).

Google Octane 2.0: link

Octane 2.0 is a benchmark created by Google that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests that is supposed to be representative of today’s complex and demanding web applications. Octane‘s goal is to measure the performance of JavaScript code found in large, real-world web applications, running on modern mobile and desktop browsers. The latest Octane 2.0 benchmark includes four new tests to measure new aspects of JavaScript performance, including garbage collection / compiler latency and asm.js-style JavaScript performance.

JetStream 1.1: link

JetStream combines a variety of JavaScript benchmarks, covering a variety of advanced workloads and programming techniques, and reports a single score that balances them using geometric mean. JetStream includes benchmarks from the SunSpider 1.0.2 and Octane 2 JavaScript benchmark suites. It also includes benchmarks from the LLVM compiler open source project, compiled to JavaScript using Emscripten 1.13. It also includes a benchmark based on the Apache Harmony open source project's HashMap and a port of the CDx benchmark, hand-translated to JavaScript.

WebXPRT 2015: link

WebXPRT 2015 uses scenarios created to mirror the tasks you do every day to compare the performance of almost any Web-enabled device. It contains six HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Enhancement, Organize Album, Stock Option Pricing, Local Notes, Sales Graphs, and Explore DNA Sequencing. Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks Results Summary: When it comes to online browsing we see by the benchmark results that you don't need 8-cores or 10-cores to get the best performance as clock frequency and architecture appear to play the biggest role here. That is also why the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and AMD Ryzen 7 1800X perform so close to one another as they have the same base and Turbo clock speeds! Pretty impressive performance results from the lower cost Ryzen 5 series as the web browsing performance is certainly on par with the Ryzen 7 series.

3DMark & Cinebench

Futuremark 3DMark 2.2.3509 - link

3DMark is a popular gaming performance benchmark that includes everything you need to benchmark your PC whether you're gaming on a desktop PC, laptop, notebook, or a tablet. 3DMark includes seven benchmark tests and we'll be running 'Sky Diver' that is aimed at gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.

Maxon Cinebench R15.038 - link 

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. 3DMark and Cinebench Benchmarks Results Summary: The AMD Ryzen 5 series did pretty well in Cinebench and 3DMark Fire Strike as you can see from the results above!

Discrete GPU Gaming Performance

Thief

Thief is a series of stealth video games in which the player takes the role of Garrett, a master thief in a fantasy/steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with more advanced technologies interspersed. Thief is the fourth title in the Thief series, developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix on February 25, 2014. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015.  Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos.  It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations. The game was released on August 23rd, 2016 for PC users and we are using it to show DX12 performance on the CPUs that we tested. DX12 removed most all of the CPU overhead, so we wanted to see what happens to performance on DX12 game titles as well. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; DX12 enabled, exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz, medium graphics. Discrete Gaming Benchmarks Results Summary: On the three game titles we tested with, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X processors did pretty well and were right there with the Ryzen 7 series! Let's take a look at power consumption.

Power Consumption

No review is complete without taking a look at power and the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X and 1600X did pretty good and were close to many of the Ryzen 7 processors at idle and under load. The chart above is getting really full, so be sure to click on it and see it at the full size. At idle the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Processor used 44.2W and the Ryzen 5 1600X used 48.8W.  At load the Ryzen 5 1600X topped out at 268W and the Ryzen 5 1500X topped out at 261W, so they are very close to one another with regards to power consumption.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X Temperatures

We used AIDA64 to look at temperatures on the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X processors and came up with some pretty interesting results. With the Corsair Hydro water cooler we were getting idle temps of around 41C and load temps of 65C on a 6 minute long AIDA64 stability test on the Ryzen 5 1600X processor. Then on the AMD Ryzen 1500X we were getting 29C idle temps and 34C load temperatures, so something appears to be off on the Ryzen 1500X with the latest build of AIDA64 (v5.90) as there was basically no increase in CPU temperature with the CPU sitting at 100% load for over five minutes. Let's look at overclocking!

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X Overclocking

Most AMD Ryzen 7 processors that are good overclockers can reach just over 4GHz with a good CPU cooler, so we wanted to reach at least this high on the Ryzen 5 processor series. It is well known that AMD didn't leave much headroom in the Ryzen processor series as they were trying to get all the clock speed they could get to be competitive with Intel. We were able to the the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X processor stable at 4.1GHz by simply increasing the multiplier and leaving the voltage setting on our motherboard on 'auto' settings. The result was a our Cinebench R15 score went from 1243 to 1369, which is a 10% performance improvement! By increasing the CPU voltage up to 1.425V from the 'auto' setting on our board we managed to get up to 4.2GHz on all cores on the Ryzen 5 1600X, but it was not stable in all benchmarks. When it comes to the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X we were able to get it up to 4.2 GHz at 1.3875V and that was good enough to turn in an overall multi-CPU score of 942 and a single-CPU score of 167. This is a 15% performance improvement over the stock multi-CPU score of 822! It you want to go crazy with the voltage and push it up to 1.425V you can get the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor running at 4.3GHz in Windows 10 and run some benchmarks, but our sample wasn't fully stable at this speed. The good news is we were able to get 10-15% by overclocking and that is a solid performance gain that we are happy with! Let's wrap up this review!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

  The AMD Ryzen 5 processor launch is very similar feel to the Ryzen 7 launch as the multi-threaded performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X were most impressive. Single threaded workloads or very lightly threaded workloads still run better on Intel hardware, but AMD has really closed the performance gap and is giving Intel some much needed competition. If you are worried about media encoding performance or really intensive multitasking situations the AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors are hard to beat for the price. The AMD Ryzen 7 1600X is a 6-core processor, 12-thread processor that we were able to overclock up to 4.1GHz that costs under $250. The 1080P gaming performance results on Ryzen 5 are acceptable and for a $249 processor we really do feel like AMD has a good value play with that processor. AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Processor The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X at $189 was a nice processor too and we were really impressed when we were able to get it onto the desktop with it overclocked up to 4.3GHz. The only downside to that processor is that it only has 4-cores and for an extra $30 you can get a 6-core processor like the Ryzen 5 1600. We didn't get the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor to review, but if you plan on overclocking that might be the best processor of the bunch. A 6-core processor for $219 sounds pretty inticing and you can pair that with an inexpensive AMD B350 motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming for $100 shipped, so for $320 you can have a brand new motherboard and a 6-core processor along with a HSF. Not bad when you factor in the AMD AM4 platform also offers newer features like M.2 PCIe NVMe slots, USB 3.1 Gen 2 and LED lighting. You can get even less expensive AMD B350 boards and get out the door with a Ryzen 5 1600 for under $300 if you were on a really tight budget.
PRODUCT LINE MODEL CORES THREADS BASE CLOCK (GHZ) BOOST CLOCK (GHZ) INCLUDED COOLER TDP (WATTS) Price
RYZEN 7 1800X 8 16 3.6 4.0 N/A 95 $495
RYZEN 7 1700X 8 16 3.4 3.8 N/A 95 $389
RYZEN 7 1700 8 16 3.0 3.7 Wraith Spire 65 $320
RYZEN 5 1600X 6 12 3.6 4.0 Wraith ​​Spire 95 $249
RYZEN 5 1600 6 12 3.2 3.6 Wraith ​​Spire 95 $219
RYZEN 5 1500X 4 8 3.5 3.7 Wraith Spire 65 $189
RYZEN 5 1400 4 8 3.2 3.4 Wraith Stealth 65 $169
  If you are holding onto a really old system and are looking to upgrade the AMD Ryzen 5 might be just what the doctor ordered. LR Recommended Award Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Ryzen 5 series is here and it makes 6-core processors affordable for the masses!